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DEA hosts take-back day for prescription drugs

Photo courtesy of Martin Vorel

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has declared October 28th as National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day to address what it calls a crucial public safety and public health issue.

According to a 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.4 million Americans abused controlled prescription drugs.

The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet, the DEA says on its online drug take-back page.

“Mississippians can help prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths by using this safe, convenient, and anonymous means of disposing of unused or expired prescription medications, including the powerful painkillers known as opioids,” said DEA-Mississippi Assistant Special Agent in Charge Daniel Comeaux.

Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics Director John Dowdy said that Mississippi ranks 32nd among the 50 states in population, with 2.9 million people and it ranks fifth among the states for the number of opioid prescriptions, with 3.1 million in 2016.

“Unused medication within the home is susceptible to young people trying to take those and use them and potentially getting addicted,” said Dowdy. “Additionally, we are seeing an increase in home burglaries where not only are they looking for cash, guns, and jewelry, but they’re also looking for prescription medications and it keeps drugs off the street.”

Dowdy said that in the past, Mississippi has not had great participation during take-back days, however, he said that 5,000 pounds of prescription medication was taken in back in the spring of 2017.

Prescription medications in all forms will be accepted for disposal from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. October 28 at locations around the state. To locate a nearby site, go online to

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